Over a span of 15 years, I experienced the heart-wrenching loss of my entire immediate family. Internally shattered by the loss of home, I was tasked with finding a new purpose to keep moving forward. Photography helped me ignore everything outside the frame, as it is easier to deal with a rectangle than the totality of life around it.
While documenting the most extravagant homes and art exhibitions throughout South Florida, I became a master at capturing success for everyone, but myself. My professional life became framing, sharing, and polishing everyone else’s "dream come true,” while my own life was falling apart. In Albert Camus' "Myth of Sisyphus," he presents the concept of the absurd hero who confronts anguish, and embraces his destiny as uniquely his own. Instead of succumbing to the anguish of pushing a rock up the hill, I decided to insert myself into the dreams I was creating for others. While the real estate agents were distracted in the adjacent rooms, I repurposed the luxury decorum as a stage to reclaim my own identity.
The portraits I began to create in the homes of strangers started to reveal my unconscious desires and obscured emotions. I remember showing the Intimate Stranger series to my family and friends, like post cards from travels to distant lands. While this work was not without risk, according to Camus, “revolt defines the absurd hero” and is a central component of what makes photography exciting for me. Somewhere in between the pain and grandeur, I unapologetically became the focus of my own gaze. Through the use of photography, I was able to transform grief into curiosity, ultimately documenting the process in which I became free.